The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 3: European Gardens (500AD-1850)

Russian garden design and designers

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I. Russian Gardening as an Art of Design and Taste 449. Russian gardening, as an art of design, began, like every other art in Russia, with Peter the Great. This emperor's first effort was made in 1714, when the garden of the summer palace, on the banks of the Neva, in St. Petersburgh, was laid out in the Dutch taste. But the grandest and most superb garden, in the geometric manner, is that which he constructed soon afterwards, about thirty worsts from the city, on the shores of the gulf. This imperial residence, as far as respects the gardens, has been justly called the Versailles of Russia; and the Prince de Ligne, an excellent judge, gives the preference to its waterworks. The whole was originally designed and laid out by Le Blond, a pupil of Le Notre, and for some time court architect of St. Petersburgh. This, with the other suburban palaces and gardens, has been minutely described by Georgi, and more generally and eloquently by Storch. From these sources, and our own observation in 1813 and 1814, we shall arrange our notices of Russian gardens, under the heads of St. Petersburgh, Moscow, and the Crimea.